User has a (incremental) backup script using rsync, to external device. This was erroring on an SSD he had. Turns out his device was formatted exFAT. That means I need to detect this in the script, as I need to alter the options to rsync (e.g., exFAT cannot handle symbolic links, no owner/group permissions, etc.).

User is running Linux Mint. I run Ubuntu. I can only assume/hope that a solution for my Ubuntu will work for his Mint.

I have looked at:

There are a variety of good suggestions there, but I do not see one which meets my requirements, which are:

  • Must report (parseable) ntfs/exfat explicitly, not just say fuseblk (which it will for both exfat & ntfs, I need to distinguish).
  • Must not require sudo.
  • Must be executable starting from a directory path on the file system (can assume it will be mounted), not just starting from a /dev/....

From the suggestions I have tried:

  • fdisk -l, parted -l, file -sL: require sudo and/or /dev/... block device
  • mount: requires /dev/..., only reports fuseblk
  • df -T, stat -f -c %T: accept directory, but report only fuseblk
  • lsblk -f, blkid: require /dev/... block device

Is there a single, simple command which meets all these criteria? Or, lsblk/blkid seem to report exfat/ntfs correctly, if I need to pass them the /dev how do I get that suitably from the directory path in script?

3 Answers 3


Thanks to the other posters for replying/suggesting. Here is my full solution.

df -P can be used to obtain device from path, and that can be fed to lsblk --fs to obtain exact file system. So a one-liner is:

fs=$( lsblk --fs --noheadings $( df -P $path | awk 'END{print $1}' ) | awk 'END{print $2}' )

If all you need to know is that the file system is fuseblk --- which covers both ntfs & exfat and turns out in the end to be sufficient for my purposes after all --- this can be determined with the much simpler:

fs=$( stat -f -c '%T' $path )
  • 1
    Interesting problem... good to hear you got this worked out.
    – Seamus
    Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 6:14

I'm not sure I follow your question completely, so I'll offer this as a "point of departure". If it gets you close, I'm sure you can tweak it to get what you need:

$ lsblk --fs | grep / | awk '{print $1, $2}'  

what about df . and mount ?

first let's get mount point

 cd /a/dir
 mp=$(df . | awk 'NR==2 { print $1}')
  • $mp while hold device name hoding /a/dir

now, mount point

mount | awk -v mp=$mp '$1 == mp { print $5}'

this should return mount type (be it xfs, etx3, ...)


  • I see my answer is covered in one of the link, you might whish to explore line returned by mount, not just $5
  • As I said, mount reports type fuseblk, which is why I didn't discover ntfs/exfat in the first place? But if your df command is how to convert directory to /dev maybe I can use it with blkid/lsblk -f which do seem to report exact fs.
    – JonBrave
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 9:54
  • 1
    I don't have a ubuntu with ntfs/fat at hand, I'll give a look later on.
    – Archemar
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 10:12

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